John Matthew Cruz
BENEFICIARIES of the government’s conditional cash transfer program have started receiving their P600 monthly rice subsidy, a campaign promise of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.
More than four million families in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) got the rice subsidy on top of their regular health and education cash grants.
The DSWD said a total of P2.58 billion was disbursed for the month of March to cover the rice subsidy.
Only households that have met the 4Ps conditions are entitled to receive the additional P600 benefit, said DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.
“Following the guidelines, DSWD has already incorporated the rice subsidy within the regular payout schedule of the [4Ps],” she said.
“This means the beneficiaries can expect to regularly receive the rice subsidy along with their health and education grants starting this month,” she added.
The DSWD chief also explained that the rice subsidy covered only the January allocation because the March 4Ps payout was for the period December 2016 to January 2017.
In his first State of the Nation Address in July 2016, Duterte ordered the DSWD to provide rice subsidies to 4Ps beneficiaries to help end hunger.
“The President wants that the poor households are able to eat every day, which is why he initiated the rice subsidy,” Taguiwalo said.
The DSWD said it conducts family development sessions to guide beneficiaries and ensure that the subsidies are used properly.